Sarkozy’s Defence Policy: An Early Look

Ortiz, Antonio (2007) Sarkozy’s Defence Policy: An Early Look. Elcano Newsletter (36). 7 p.. ISSN 1698-5184

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Abstract

The election of Nicolas Sarkozy as the new French President and the potential changes in the French security and defence policy. As the French prepare for the changes in domestic policy promised by Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s allies and the international strategic community are watching for any sign of a repositioning in defence and security matters. On the other side of the Atlantic, expectations are high, but Sarkozy might not be the Atlanticist that some people suppose. Most of the changes are likely to be more of style and personality rather than fundamental shifts in policy. During their first weeks in power, Sarkozy and his new government have focused mainly on European Union (EU) policy and the Middle East. France, for example, has remained surprisingly discreet on the issue of missile defence, perhaps a sign of a more business-like approach and of less grandstanding. One of Sarkozy’s priorities will be to reposition his country as a European player. His challenge will be to consolidate a more independent European defence effort, while not distancing France from the US and NATO. The new spirit of renovation might also emerge as a more pragmatic and flexible approach to strategic doctrine and the review of France’s White Book on Defence. Sarkozy’s emphasis on lifting France’s economic performance is also likely to be felt in defence planning and defence economics in general, with a strong support for the industry, as exemplified by the visit to EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space) facilities in Toulouse, his first trip inside France as new President. Sarkozy has been rather ambiguous on France’s role in stabilisation operations and peacekeeping, an elusiveness he will have to brush away very soon as pressure in Afghanistan is mounting. Finally, one of the new President’s most surprising proposals is to create a National Security Council on the US model, which will necessary shake up a long-standing French institutional balance in defence matters.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Estudio sólo disponible en inglés
Uncontrolled Keywords: Seguridad y Defensa
Subjects: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS > DEFENCE POLICY.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > COUNTRIES AND REGIONS > FRANCE
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK > POLITICS > POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK > POLITICS > ELECTIONS
Divisions: Real Instituto Elcano, RIE
Depositing User: Jorge Horcas Pulido
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2012 13:50
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2012 13:50
URI: http://biblioteca.ribei.org/id/eprint/1260

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